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Biodiversity Based IPM in Field Crops

NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organised by Velemir Ninkovic, SLU.
Dates and location: 31 Aug. - 4 Sept. 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden.

Eija Bakken
This course is the first course in the course series “Biodiversity and integrated pest management” which consists of three courses.

Course description
In accordance with the NOVA values, mission and vision, as expressed in the new strategy for 2014-2017, the PhD-course series “Biodiversity and integrated pest management” focuses on sustainable use of natural resources and food production in the Nordic countries, accommodating also changes caused by global warming. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has become the official crop protection policy in the EU as of 1.1.2014, but enhanced research into suitable IPM-systems is urgently needed in all European countries, including the Nordic region. New activities at the EU level, such as CORE ORGANIC Plus (ERA-net) and COST Actions highlight these concerns in EU agriculture. Understanding mechanisms, and developing suitable IPM strategies is the main emphasis in the course series.

The series consists of three individual courses, to be offered during four consecutive years in four different NOVA-country: Biodiversity based IPM in field crops (2015, Sweden/SLU), Pollinators within IPM strategies for agriculture (2016, Finland/HU-AF), Stacking biodiversity benefits for sustainable IPM (2017, Denmark/SCIENCE). Thematically these courses address all major aspects of the interactions between various levels of biodiversity, and integrated pest management in agricultural systems (including protected crops). The course contents cover the newest developments in the theory of pest management, role of different levels of biodiversity (within species genetic diversity in crop plants; vegetation diversity within the field; diversity at the agroecosystem level) in controlling pests, diseases and weeds, mechanisms of key interactions including plant signalling and chemical communication, population dynamics of pests, diseases and weeds, and integration of agronomic and management measures to optimize pest control outcome in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner.

The objectives of the course series is to provide each participating student with the knowledge, skills, and competence necessary for addressing the challenges in developing integrated pest management for the Nordic countries, as required by the IPM Directive of the European Union. These will be provided by in-depth lectures by leading Nordic and European experts in the specific topics, via hands-on laboratory and field exercises, pre- and post-campus assignments (including required preparatory readings), and seminar/workshop sessions.

Learning outcomes
After taking these courses, the students will have knowledge at the advanced frontier of ecological interactions determining the effects of biotic diversity on pest management and ecosystem services, and at the interface between the various levels of biodiversity. In addition, they will acquire the most advanced skills and techniques within this area of research, required to solve critical problems and/or innovation, and to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practice of pest management and agricultural production systems. After finishing these courses, students will be able to demonstrate substantial authority, innovation, scholarly and professional integrity, and commitment to the research and development of new ideas on integrated pest management.

The learning outcomes will be assessed by oral and written examinations at the end of each course, and by performance at seminar presentations and in laboratory and field exercises.

Estimated workload

  • 10 hours seminar
  • 15 hours lecture
  • 50 hours independent work
  • 5 hours other: hands-on field work

Prerequisite knowledge
Pre-required knowledge in general is acceptance to a PhD-program in a topic of relevance to the course main theme. Advanced MSc-students may participate in exceptional cases and upon supervisor endorsement.

Admission for a NOVA course is handled locally by the course leader/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Published 18. November 2014 - 13:39 - Updated 3. April 2018 - 15:42